Hiking Kailua Beach Shoreline
RASA’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES: The Best, Most Family-Friendly Trails on Oahu
By RASA FOURNIER
When I’m jonesing to get out the door and get my legs moving, but I’m in the mood for a non-traditional trek, I head to Kailua Beach,a 2.5-mile crescent of soft sand, cooling waters and sublime skies. At sunrise, my footsteps in the sand stand alone as I drink heartily of the indigo sky and crisp morning air. At sunset, a swath of blue and pink sweeps across the firmament, the tide fingers at the footstep riddled shore, and I always wonder why I don’t wash off the long day’s grub in such pleasant fashion more often. Show up at any other time of the day and there’s a flurry of action.
Today I arrive late-morning and am instantly invigorated by the hubbub. Excitement lines the shore ? people are grouped together chatting, canoe paddles in hand or stuck upright in the sand, as they prepare for a regatta. The streamline vessels will trace a path around Flat Island (technically Popoia Island, a bird sanctuary that’s near enough to shore for strong swimmers to visit) and past the picturesque twin Mokulua Islands. That’s the thing with Kailua Beach - there’s an endless stream of fun and adventure, for all ages. Walking or jogging, you pass families picnicking, folks accompanied by every variety of canine that take your mind off your stride with their funny antics, children plopping aside handfuls of dripping sand as they dig makeshift pools, others scurrying after crabs. Guys with sun-bleached hair tug at the strings of colorful kitesurfing equipment, while novices teeter on their standup paddle boards. Before you know it, you’ve reached the far end of the beach where the Obamas vacation and where great heaps of brown-green seaweed - a mess of entwined tentacles, creepy guts from the belly of the sea - have been cast ashore. And then it’s time to turn back and retrace your fading footprints, as they’re gradually erased by the wind and waves on the best stretch of sand for walking or jogging on the island. Sounds like, er, a walk on the beach, but five miles of impact in the shifting sand are enough to make your legs beg for some jacuzzi time or a soothing soak in epsom salts. Then again, the ocean is right there. Hop in and let its silky buoyant caress melt the aches away.
TRAIL: Kailua Beach Shoreline
LENGTH: 5 miles round trip
HOW TO GET THERE: From Waikiki, take Kapahulu Avenue to H1 West. Take the Pali exit (Highway 61) and follow the Pali through the mountains as it turns into Kalanianaole Highway and then becomes Kailua Road. At the triangle intersection where Kailua Road meets Kuulei Road, bear right to stay on Kailua Road. Pass Kailua District Park on your left and take a left at the next signal intersection to stay on Kailua Road. Approach an intersection where Kalapawai Market is directly ahead. Go left and follow the road around the market into Kailua Beach Park.
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